I support legal immigration for anyone who wishes to come here to the U.S. and participate in pursuing the American dream by contributing to society in a decent and lawful manner. To that end, we all have a responsibility to send messages that reinforce decent and lawful behavior.
I wonder what messages are being sent by the teddy bear vigil ("Vigil held for man detained by ICE," The Daily Astorian, Jan. 28). For one, it implies our justice system is doing something wrong. Are we saying if a law is inconvenient or disliked, you're justified in breaking it? What are we saying to the millions of immigrants who are patiently waiting (sometimes for years) as they apply for legal citizenship?
It appears Ruben Vera Perez decided to ignore that law and engage in more dangerous law-breaking behavior.
Is it because he has a job and family that he should get special treatment? The majority of inmates are married with families prior to their incarceration. Why should Mr. Perez take obeying the law seriously, when he is treated like a martyr for suffering the consequences of his own behavior?
What message do you send the victim(s) if Mr. Perez decides to drink and drive again? I believe the 28 people killed daily by a drunk driver are more deserving of a teddy bear vigil.